Recently we were out to dinner with friends who are making a major change in their lives and careers. Our friends have thought this through well. They have been dreaming of these changes for several years. They met with their financial advisor and are on track with their new career plans.
When a new year begins, many of us face changes. We may change jobs or health plans. Maybe we start a new diet, workout plan, or even a new budget. But when it comes to making major decisions that will lead to change in our lives, how do we know if we’re making a good decision? How can we stay unified in the decision making process?
In the next few weeks we will experience Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. For some people reading that sentence causes a rise in blood pressure and immediate feelings of stress. You may be hosting family and friends in your home. Or perhaps you will be the guest in someone else’s home. What are some ways you can navigate the holidays well and actually strengthen your marriage?
Photo by João Silas on Unsplash
Have you ever made a bad decision? We have. Lots of them. We purchased a vehicle that we later regretted. Vocational choices were made when we weren’t unified. From the mundane to the mammoth, we’ve been through the valley of consequences from poor decisions.
Thankfully, most of those poor decisions were made earlier in our marriage. Now that we’ve been married over 35 years we can look back and see some powerful life lessons that have helped us make better decisions together. We thought we would share these ten questions that you and your spouse can ask as you make significant decisions. These questions will guide you in making better choices:
Everyone makes mistakes in marriage. No one is the perfect mate.
Perhaps you or your spouse made a financial mistake. Maybe one or both of you sinned through a moral failure. It could be that one of you has been mean, selfish, demanding, absent, or unkind. Perhaps your spouse has been an excessive complainer or verbally abusive. Some have misused alcohol or drugs. Others have been workaholics.
If you’re married there are probably some areas of your life where you wish you could have a do-over; an opportunity to rebuild your marriage. If this describes you or your marriage, we want you to know there’s hope for you. You can rebuild your marriage. Here are seven steps to start the process of rebuilding:
There are plenty of aggressive attacks on marriages today—pride, porn, promiscuity, power, prestige—and quite a bit written on who to address these enemies of marriage. But there’s another threat to your marriage that settles in to relationships with such a quiet presence we aren’t even aware of it until the damage is done. Can you guess what it is?
Have you ever felt lonely in your marriage? Unless you’ve experienced it, being married and lonely can sound impossible. How can two people live under the same roof in the intimacy and vulnerability of marriage and still be lonely? And if we do feel lonely, how do we break out of it and reconnect with our spouse?
Are your children looking forward to the coming school year? Brad was recently talking to two twin girls about to enter 6thgrade and asked if they were looking forward to school. One nodded her head vigorously while the other shook her head with about the same energy!
As the start of school looms in the not-too-distant future, the two of you have a window of opportunity to help your children end the summer well and start school strong. Intentional and unified parenting brings blessing and security to your home. And this is a season when you can plan specific ways to build experiences and memories with your kids. It also sets an example for your children on how they can partner with their spouse one day in raising the next generation!
Here are some simple ways you can connect with your children and make the most of this important season in their lives:
Brad and Heidi Mitchell
Yesterday we celebrated our 35thwedding anniversary. As we reflected on our marriage, we talked about keys that have helped us and practices we wish we had incorporated earlier in our marriage. We thought we’d share our list and hope it’s helpful for you as you Build Your Marriage: